Soft Stool Constipation Relief for Severe Constipation in Children and Adults

Soft Stool Constipation Relief For Severe Constipation In Children and Adults

(As always, consult a doctor before making any decision regarding your health. * Please see my full disclosure at the bottom of this post.  I am not affiliated in anyway with the makers of the products I share in this article. )

After a 5-year battle with severe constipation, I finally found something that works for my daughter and I can’t tell you what a huge deal this is at our house.  It is a big enough deal that I am willing to write this very romantic post about soft stool constipation relief  in the hopes that we can help someone else that is going through the same nightmare that we have experienced.

Are you looking for Soft Stool Constipation Relief for Severe Constipation in Children and Adults? After a 5 year battle, I finally found help for my child.


When my daughter (who shall rename nameless in the hopes that she won’t someday hate me for letting the world in on her battles with constipation), was 3 years old, she was potty trained and for two weeks she did great.  She stayed dry at night and didn’t have any accidents.  Then she became constipated and apparently the experience was so scary and painful for her that she began holding in her bowel movements because she was afraid that it would hurt again if she tried to use the bathroom.  This, of course, exacerbated the problem of constipation and began a five year pattern of only having a bowel movement every 7 days.  She also began wetting the bed at night and I have never been able to figure out why that is.

I felt like a midwife once a week coaching her into delivering her bowel movement. We would cry together when things came out of her that were horrifyingly large for an a adult, let alone a little girl to have to force out of her body.  It has been one of the worst parts of my mothering experience so far, (which I would like to acknowledge means I am very blessed. I realize there are so many worse things mother’s are dealing with with their children.)

So, we went to the doctor who told me to give her Miralax.  I know some people have had success with Miralax.  For us, it was difficult to find an amount that would work without giving her very runny bowel movements- which created lots of accidents in her pants and would have been a real problem for her at school.  She also hated the taste of it in her drink and was very resistant to taking it.  The packaging says it is something you shouldn’t take long term, which concerned me.  And it is pretty expensive.  So, I started looking for other options.

My mother-in-law suggested we try Dr. Christopher’s Kid-E-Reg.    This came in a liquid form and we gave her three droppers full throughout the day.  It has kind of a black licorice flavor and she didn’t hate it, so that was a blessing.  She would take it any time I offered it to her, but it was hard to remember to take it three times a  day and we only had success with it if we were super consistent.  She still wasn’t perfectly regular with it, but definitely better than she was when she didn’t take it. I think it is a great option for younger kids.

A year ago, a friend who has struggled with constipation his whole life, found a product that was life-changing for him.  He was regular for the first time in his life once he started taking it.  He told me about it in the hopes that it could help my daughter, but it was in the form of a capsule and I tried to get her to swallow it, but she just couldn’t get it down, so I gave up on it.  Then this year she had had a really horrible bowel movement and we were both feeling desperate enough to try again.  I wrapped the capsule in some ice cream and she swallowed it.  After a few days, she started to see the effects.  She takes one capsule a day and has bowel movements every two to three days now.  We could probably up the dosage and get her to have them more frequently (my friend takes 1 in the morning and 2 at night), but she is in school, and I don’t want her to have any trouble by giving her too much. It is much easier to be consistent at taking one capsule a day and she has even learned to take it without ice cream now (see below for how to teach your kids to take pills.)

It is called EZ Cleanse and you can buy it directly at the Vitamin Research Products website. Or sometimes it is cheaper here.  It is much more affordable than anything else we’ve tried- around $20 for a 2 1/2 month supply.

Update:  I have found one more product that is very effective and yet gentle.  It was recommended by a friend who knows who is knowledgeable in this area. It is called Aloe Ferox and the pills are a little less potent tasting for my daughter, so we have been using it lately to see if it works as well as EZ Cleanse.  We are impressed.  Now, it says not for use in children under 15, so discuss it with your doctor before you use it for your child.  I have been removing about a third of the powder before I give it to her, and she is doing well with it.

*Now- FYI- I am obviously not a doctor and these are both natural supplements that are not FDA approved or tested, so do your own research and decide for yourself if you feel comfortable giving them to your kid or yourself.   We haven’t seen any side effects- just more regular bowel movements and to us it is a miracle.  I am including an ingredients list for both the Kid-E-Reg and the EZ Cleanse below so you can see what is in it to help you in making your decision.

Dr. Christopher’s Kid-E-Reg Ingredients List :

Fig Syrup, Wildcrafted Slippery Elm Bark, Organic Fennel Seed, Organic Licorice Root, and Organic Anise Seed

EZ Cleanse Ingredients List:

Butternut bark, ginger root, senna leaf, black walnut hull, cascara sagrada bark, citrus pectin, grapefruit, dicalcium phosphate, digestive enzymes, fructooligosaccharides, gum arabic, cayenne fruit, Bacillus coagulans, milk thistle seed, rhubarb root, fennel seed, buckthorn bark, psyllium husk, cranberry fruit and licorice root.

How to teach your kid to take pills:

I had a terrible time taking pills growing up.  It wasn’t until my mother-in-law taught me this little technique that I was able to start taking them with no problem.  Maybe you already do it this way, but the key is to have your child fill up the back of their throat with some kind of liquid first, then toss the pill into the liquid so it never touches their tongue. When they swallow, it goes right down with the liquid and you avoid the gagging that usually occurs when you put a  pill on the back of your tongue and then take a drink.

I wish you the best of luck in overcoming this painful experience with your child and hope you will find some relief like we did!

What has worked for you in finding soft stool constipation relief for severe constipation in children and adults?

40 thoughts on “Soft Stool Constipation Relief for Severe Constipation in Children and Adults”

  1. The experience you had with your daughter was exactly like mine with my son. We are two years into our battle. We are finally at a point where the majority of the time he is fine but one day of eating crap food will send us back into the hell that is a scared, constipated little kid. I completely agree that this has been the hardest, most horrible part of parenthood for me. Sitting in the bathroom while your three year old screams bloody murder and pleads with you to let them off the toilet and that they will poop later is a horrible, helpless feeling. I am so glad that your daughter found relief and I hope my son doesn’t regress again. But, if he does I will definitely be looking into that cleanse. Thank you!

  2. My daughter is 7 years old and we have been dealing with this for 5 years. I love that you have found a product that works for you. I would be inclined to try it for an initial clean-out but the EZ cleanse contains senna and cascara sagrada. These are stimulant laxatives that can cause long term side affects. I am concerned about using something like this consistently in a child. Did you check with your pediatrician or GI doctor? Just wondering what they said.

  3. Patty- thanks so much for your comment! I’m so sorry about your daughter. It is so rough! I talked to my brother who is a doctor about those ingredients. He said if it is working for her and she isn’t having side effects, to continue with it. I guess the long term effects of chronic constipation are worse than the effects of those ingredients in his opinion. But you could get a totally different response from another doctor. I don’t plan on giving it to her indefinitely. I’m hoping it will just help her have the 6 months of regular bowel movements her pediatrician said she needs to shrink her intestine back to a normal size. Then I hope she will not have the fear of having a bowel movement anymore and can stay regular by just diet choices. My pediatrician recommended Miralax, but it says it is not for long term use either. It’s a difficult decision to make. That’s why I have the disclaimer in the post. It may not be right for everyone and you should definitely talk to your doctor about it. I hope you find something that works for you!

  4. We are 20 months into the same struggle, so I hear you! We mix the Miralax with a yogurt tube in a dish and my three and a half year old drinks it through a straw. We’ve actually been working on going everyday after dinner for over a week now and the tears are less for all. So thankful! Hopefully he will want to start toilet training once this painful part is behind us (no pun intended).

  5. You might want to read this article about Miralax
    As for the L-Carnitine – I had consulted with Kelly Dorfman years ago and she put my daughter on L-Carnitine. I eventually took her off of it because, at the time it was very expensive, and I didn’t really understand what unbelievable benefits it would have. 15yrs later we are still battling the constipation. We are using Carnitor which is a prescription version of L-caritine and it changed everything. My child is developmentally delayed and I realized I wasn’t seeing that “pushing face”. Within 2wks she began pushing again. You might also consider using Natural Calm which is a powdered magnesium found in most health food stores. You can gradually increase it until you get the desired effect and then pull back. Another thing that works naturally is a mix of dried (organic) fruit soaked in Smooth Move tea with lemon and ginger. Just throw it in a blender or food processor to make a paste. Eat 2Tbls 3x a day, more when constipated. It can be spread on toast or mixed into yogurt, although sometimes yogurt can be constipating. You can also try aloe juice. Adding fish oil and coconut oil to their diet is also a game changer. Still not a perfect science, what works for some might not work for others. Good luck!

  6. Good info. Lisa! I will have to look into Carnitor. I never felt comfortable with the Miralax option which is why I was looking for some more natural options. That article confirms my reservations even though every doctor reccommended it.

  7. You might need a stool softener, not a laxative. I had oral surgery and was prescribed amoxicillin (antibiotic) and endocet (pain reliever containing acetaminophen and oxycodone). In the patient prescription information for endocet it lists constipation as a possible side effect, and goes on to say “To prevent constipation, eat a diet adequate in fiber, drink plenty of water, and exercise.” I had not had side effects from medication before that I can remember, and unfortunately, I did not read all of this prior to using this medication. After the surgery I became severely constipated.

    I had not eaten anything for several days, so when my bowl movements stopped I did not notice. Rarely in my life have I been constipated. Once I started eating again, I became uncomfortable within a few days and realized that I was constipated. I tried prune juice, laxatives such as Ex-Lax, Phillips Milk of Magnesia, SenokotXtra, and a self-administered rectal suppository. Nothing worked. Days were going by and I was becoming extremely uncomfortable and was very close to going to the emergency room for a rectal water enema. I decided to call my doctor (general practitioner) first to ask his advice, but he was on vacation so I spoke to another doctor in the office. I related the story above. Although I was seeking advice on what over the counter medication I should take, I was advised instead to go to the emergency room and have an x-ray because I might have a tumor. Of course, I thought that was ridiculous. I did not suddenly develop a tumor. Although I had not read it, it seemed to me my problem was the result of taking pills for several days while not eating much of anything. Then I called a pharmacist, who then recommended medications that I had already taken. No new ideas there either. Finally I called the oral surgeon who operated on me. This seemed at the time to be an odd question for him, but I was getting desperate.

    He immediately said I needed a stool softener and recommended Colace. He said such problems were common in hospitals and this is what patients were often given. I bought it, took it, went for a long walk around the neighborhood and periodically walked around the perimeter of the backyard for 15 minutes at a time, and in 12-18 hours began to have relief. The stool came out in hard compact clay-like nuggets. It was difficult and a bit painful to pass and I squatted in the shower to do it, but once the process started I experienced relief in increments over the next 12 hours.

  8. I just read an article by the author of a new book called It’s No Accident by Dr. Steve Hodges, a pediatric urologist. The premise is fascinating, he ties bed wetting to chronic constipation, along with other issues. Reading the article I recognized the same symptoms my 9 year old niece struggled with this for years until seeing a specialist (another pediatric urologist) and now she is fine. It might be worth reading to see if it could help your little one!

  9. Very interesting Robert. I didn’t know there was a difference between a laxative and a stool softener. I’ll have to look into that.

  10. An old fashioned remedy that was used for babies,also works for children and adults is the dark Karo syrup mixed with a little hot water and then stirred into milk or formula.I think it is good mixed with chocolate milk.Just a small amount will work for babies,usually less than 1/2 tsp.and about a Tablespoon for adults.It usually works within the day you take it.

  11. Laxatives make you go and stool softeners make it easier when you go.Laxatives can cause cramping,but stool softeners usually don’t.I would always choose to use the stool softener first.

  12. I second the Natural Calm recommendation. Amazing stuff. I used it when I was pregnant because my other diuretics (eg, coffee) were off limits. It tastes great, maybe a little tart. And it’s easy to moderate the dosage. An added bonus: it will ease Charlie horses or growing pains.

  13. I had this same problem with my 3 year old,35 years ago. When my son was 14, I finally found out why from another mother. It was MILK. As soon as he stopped drinking cow’s milk, his symptoms stopped. Two of my grandsons have had the same issue, and also a great nephew. Symptoms ceased as soon as cow’s milk was taken out of the diet. May not be the solution for everyone, but something to consider.

  14. I thought I would add something else to the conversation that I just heard about. My friend’s daughter also has struggled with severe constipation since infancy, and the doctors just told her to try withholding gluten from her diet for two weeks to see if there was any relief, and it has miraculously helped her! I’m not sure that that will be the fix for everyone, but I thought I’d add that as another thing to try. I know how miserable it can be for your kids to be so sick with stomach troubles. My youngest two kids struggle with it too, so I may have to try the gluten free diet too to see if there is any relief for them.

  15. I suggest getting her tested for food allergies! This was me when I was I was a kid, I’m now in My twenties and have discovered I have a gluten allergy. I think this explains my chronic constipation and eczema. Wish pediatricians were more aware of food allergies back then!

  16. I know this is an older article,so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that you get this. We are in almost identical situations with my 4 1/2 (almost 5) year old daughter. I ordered the EZ cleanse and just wanted to know if you usually give your child the pill in the morning or at night.

  17. Mine is in school so I usually give it to her after school so if she has to go after taking it, she will be at home. I think the morning would be better than at night so it can work while they are running around all day.

  18. Great info and I appreciate all the ideas and feedback in the comments too! My son has had severe problems for the last 5 years, and we have even gone to a specialist. He still can go almost a week and a half without a bm and has large stools. Miralax doesn’t really work and was not feasible after a week because of the runny-ness. Now my 4 year old daughter has the same issue but hers is more a fear issue than a food issue. (I do think my son may have some gluten intolerance or milk sensitivities). She will hold it until we literally have to force it out with a saline enema (thankfully Fleet started making a child version of these.)
    Can’t do that anymore with her as that is even more terrifying for her.
    I just started giving both kids a liquid senna based laxative that is root beer flavor. Because it is more of a stimulant it has worked well for us! It is homeopathic and I found it at my local Kroger. It works within 30 minutes for both of them. It feels like such a relief, but I am also going to try the supplements.
    Thanks for sharing this struggle in your family!

  19. We did the Miralax and I always felt it was a band aid to the problem and didn’t actually solve the problem. I tried an essential oil, DigestZen and it actually let her have a normal BM and over a few weeks of rubbing the oil on, she was able to do it on her own. I feel like it helped her body do what it is naturally supposed to do, without medicine you always have to take.

  20. When I say weeks, I mean it healed her in that time and we no longer had to use the oil. It helped her within 24 hours of applying the oil, every time. This was huge for us, because even the suppository didn’t do anything!

  21. My one year old Has been struggling with constipation. She is exclusively breast fed and we are gluten and diary free. She doesn’t era meat yet either. I give her Ready, set, go- a natural laxative made with fig and prune or fractionated aloe water. I also make sure she has lots of prunes, raisins, plums, peaches and other fruits and veggies. It has all helped.

  22. Im a 24 year old, healthy and somewhat active girl who’s struggled with ‘chronic constipation’ .. My doctor says that’s what I have and has never done any testing or sent me to a specialist. I have been taking Restorlax everyday for almost 3 years and it rarely works anymore. When I do go it’s like little tiny worms (sorry to be so gross lol) I live everyday with constant pain and bloat .. I just wish there was something to fix it and make me go more often then once every couple weeks

  23. Would love to see that article, my son deals with both of those issues, he is on daily doses of Miralax and benefiber to try and keep both under control so there definitely is a connection for him at least and he is 13.

  24. Have you ever tried honey? Natural honey if taken daily on an empty stomach either a full tablespoon directly or mixed witha cup of lukewarm water really do wonders in digestive system. And thus eliminate constipation.

  25. I wanted to add to what another commenter said about dairy. My son had constipation/ held his bowels for years. I tried everything suggested above and even more including acupuncture and chiropractic adjustments. Finally a few months ago I met with an integrative pediatrician on my on, no physical exam of my son, just her and I discussing the treatments I’ve tried and how his diet is. She wanted me to be able to not have to supplement him with stool softens or laxatives. All she suggested was to eliminate all dairy for 3 weeks to see if that “cured” him after the 3 weeks were up, we would slowly add dairy to see how much he could tolerate before making him constipated that way if he wanted to have dairy on special occasions he would know to take some digestive enzymes to help him process it. After 7 years of trying everything, we had a solution, it was dairy. He doesn’t miss the dairy, he goes to the bathroom daily and we’re all relieved.

  26. Thanks for sharing this! I have not tried eliminating dairy from her diet. It is definitely worth a shot. Not having to take anything for constipation is definitely the best way to go if it is possible.

  27. To avoid pills altogether and fix the root of the problem, try taking your child to a chiropractor. My husband is a chiropractor and has seen amazing sucess with babies, kids and adults who have suffered with these problems. Some of his patients call him the “poop Doctor” (I know, classy right?). In most cases, the issues are relieved indefinitely and kids can live a constipation free life for good. I HIGHLY recommend this route since long term medication can become a crutch to the body and your child may not be able to go without it if taken so regularly. Find a good one and give it a try. You’ll be amazed!

  28. My Grandmother gave me Fletcher’s Castoria, a liquid laxative for kids, every so often. Works like a charm and tastes like root beer! You’ll have to put it up so the kids can’t get into it! ? It’s still at certain pharmacies, just call around until you find one that carries it. My Homeland carries it, thank goodness! Even though I’m grown, I’ll take some if need be. This has been around for years, it’s truly old-school. Constipation will be a thing of the past, believe me. Oh! No nasty tummy cramps either.

  29. Thanks for the tip! I’m going to have my daughter try it out and if we have good results I will add it to the article. A tastier alternative is always welcome. (-:

  30. We had serious issues with my three year old. I took her off of cows milk and put her on almond milk and she is a million times better. We still eat yogurt and ice cream and what not but with the lack of milk in her cups she has become a new kid in that area!!

  31. Oh, forgot to mention we pretty much followed that same route you have. All different stool softener, sepositories, enemas, the whole
    9. Nothing was a cute just an aid or crutch.

  32. Toddler magic tea is the best remedy to treat your toddler’s constipation and certain tummy related problems without any side effects. It’s totally organic herbal tea that contains no preservatives at all.

  33. Hi Trisha!
    Wow, reading ur story hit home. I have an 8.5yo daughter whose had this issue every since we started potty training.
    It’s definitely the worse thing I hate about parenting. We’ve been to gasto drs who recommended a weekend cleanse. W miralax and laxatives. While this worked for a weekend. I’d rather find an easier way for my daughter to go without staying home for days waiting for something to happen.

    I’m going to try the ez cleanse, and also some coconut candies that I’ve see On Pinterest. Wondering if u tried this route w ur child?

    Just trying to find the easiest solution for this hard issue. Any other recommendations would be great.

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